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Australia pick teen star, Nigeria set for camp, Millwall unhappy, boost for female refs in Asia

There are just over three weeks to go before the Women’s World Cup gets underway and excitement across the globe is certainly cranking up.

Australia has become the latest nation to name its squad, with the inclusion of a teen sensation the main talking point from the announcement.

Nigeria also moved closer to confirming their roster for the tournament after releasing a 27-player list for a training camp in Austria.

Read on as we look at these and other top stories from the world of women’s football.

Australia manager springs Fowler surprise

There was a surprise name in Australia’s squad for the World Cup, with manager Ante Milicic including teen prodigy, Mary Fowler, following a series of excellent performances with the Young Matildas.

There had been fears that Fowler would be lost to Ireland after the 16-year-old was withdrawn from the senior Australia squad by her father back in November.

However, she was recalled for a recent friendly against the United States and Milicic clearly feels she will benefit from travelling to France.

The teenager joins the likes of Sam Kerr, Caitlin Foord and Lisa De Vanna in a squad packed with experience despite its youthful average age.

Nigeria edge closer to finalising squad

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has organised a training camp in Austria as preparation for the World Cup.

A 27-player list has been confirmed for the camp, with four players set to drop out at the end of the two weeks.

Onome Ebi, Ngozi Okobi and Desire Oparanozie are the standout names on the list, with each playing key roles in the Super Falcons’ ninth continental triumph in Ghana last year.

Uchenna Kanu, who has bagged eight goals in two matches at the ongoing WAFU Women’s Cup in Abidjan, has also been included.

Millwall unhappy as Lionesses breakaway

Millwall have expressed ‘disappointment’ that the board and senior management of their women’s team, Millwall Lionesses, are breaking away from the club.

A new independent outfit for the 2019/20 season called London City Lionesses will be formed after the end of a Women’s Championship season in which Millwall finished bottom of the table.

Millwall Lionesses avoided administration in April 2018 through a crowdfunding page that raised over £17,000.

However, the Lionesses struggled with the standard of the newly revamped Championship, losing 17 of 20 league games.

Boost for female officials in Asia

The Asian Football Confederation has announced that an all-female referee team will take charge of a men’s continental club cup clash for the first time.

Japanese referee Yoshimi Yamashita and assistants Naomi Teshirogi and Makoto Bozono will officiate the AFC Cup match between Myanmar’s Yangon United and Cambodia’s Naga World at the Thuwunna Stadium on Wednesday.

The AFC Cup is the second level of Asian club competition, one below the AFC Champions League.

Women officials have only previously been employed as assistant referees in AFC Cup matches, with Australians Alysson Flynn and Sarah Ho becoming the first in 2014.

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